Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

The graveyard book – Neil Gaiman

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Goodreads synopsis: After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

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My thoughts: Cute story but maybe a little too easy for me. It is a young adult book but had maybe not expected it to be that young in all aspects. Cute characters, interesting plot and I like the way Gaiman have written it. There is some aspects of the story that you do not get a full explanation about but you do get a lot of clues to make your own thoughts and mind about it. It wakes the desire to discuss the book, its meaning, its plot and all that around. I can see how this would be a perfect book in discussion classes in school and such.

I really liked Nobody. He has this charming, naivete that puts him in situations where he certainly not should be and he resolves those situations either by himself or help from those who tries to protect him. It is funny and light if you do not think too much or try to analyse more than that.

I don’t have so much more to say. I really liked the beginning and the end was satisfying yet sad, but didn’t care to much about the middle to be honest.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of wings and ruin – Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads synopsis: Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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My thoughts: I have gone on a total Sarah J. Maas binge and did finish the third book last Friday. This was such a great series. I still have A court of frost and starlight to read and there is rumoured to be released at least 3 more books but I don’t have much more information than that to give. I do believe that the next books to come is about some of the biggest characters around the main ones, judging by how this one ended. And it did end in a satisfying way in my opinion.

I didn’t find it to be just as good as the second one and a little lower than the first one. Still a solid four in rating. I think it is the wars fault. The book is a lot darker in every aspect than the first two books and there was some long patches with not that much happening. The war was a huge and overwhelming plot which frustrated and didn’t quite make sense some of the times. The worst part was that after 300 + pages about the war, it was just boring. Well, at least until I had like 100 pages left of the book. Then the shit hit the fan and I constantly worried that it would end badly. But what a ride.

I really like Maas way or writing. It is easy on the eyes, simple to understand and doesn’t make a book on 700 pages seem long and overwhelming. However I do have to say that I did find her way of using the words this time somewhat repetitive. Like the words mate and dream kept being mentioned all the time. I actually read a review where a reader had counted how many times the word “mate” is mentioned in the book and if I do recall correctly it is over 200 times. I do agree that, that is to excessive use of the word. But other than that, the writing is as I’m now associates with a book by Maas.

To judge this book and this series in one way I would have to say that this is the best series I have read so far this year and would highly recommend for everyone who has not yet read it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of mist and fury – Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads synopsis: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

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My thoughts: Do not read this review if you not yet have read the first book because I don’t want to unintentionally ruin it for you. So this is a SPOILER ALERT. Read on by your own free will. I have warned you. 😉

I have no words! Oh I’m lying to you. I have so many words and feelings that it is a big chance this review is just a rant about how much I love this book. Love, love, love, loved IT. I don’t know what to say in order to express how stunning this series is. I’m starstruck and was sporting a major book hangover before I was even done and I just had to get my hands on the third book right away. I could not, was not, ready to leave the world of Prythian or its people like Feyre, Rhys and all the others. That the book ended on a major cliffhanger did not surprised me either.

This is in my opinion a work of art. The so small details in the first book made so much more sense in the second. It’s a beautiful way Maas has tied the books and story together. She has a talent with slowly changing the readers mind and thoughts about different subjects like for an example Tamlin, Rhysand, Lucien and the world of Prythian. You fall even harder in love and I admire Feyre. I connect with her and it is just a wonderful, heartbreaking and intense ride throughout the 600 pages. Not once did I feel the slowness of the story as I did in the first book.

I love the development, the magic, the love, fear, feelings and so much more that Maas has crammed in there. And hate! I feel so much hate towards some of the characters. They are hideous, mean and what I once thought is no longer the truth. It is so intense to follow that I even dream about it at night. I’m so high-strung that I should start meditate to be able to mentally tackle the third book. I feel so much that I’m ready to burst. Aren’t it a wonderful feeling? 🙂

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

A court of thorns and roses – Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads synopsis: Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

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My thoughts: How am I supposed to review this one? This… this fantastic, unbelievable imaginative, angst riddled and intense product, written by a queen. A book who rips, ravages and breaks you into a million pieces before it reassembles you at the end. But you as a human will never be the same. It changes you and the view I once had are long gone and forgotten. I am and for ever will be a different person after this. That is how good it was, with such an impact that it even was hard to read on sometimes. I have heard that the second book is even worse, with more tears, more pain… just more of everything. And I can’t wait to read it.

A court of thorns and roses or ACOTAR, was a major hype a few years back. Everyone I knew and followed on YouTube, Instagram and in the groups on Facebook could not stop talking about it. The synopsis never intrigued me back then and even when I started it, I was still a bit skeptical. I often have problems with YA and often find YA Fantasy to be overrated and without any real depth and almost always has that stupid love triangle drama that I hate with every fiber of my body.

So why did I read it? Well I just wanted something new and unpredictable and I wanted it directly. Meaning, I didn’t want to order online and wait several days for it to arrive and I didn’t want a e-book either. I wanted something real. This one was the only book my local bookstore had on English that remotely interested me. And I’m so glad that I bought it.

The only (two) problem I have with the book is the pace. It was to slow but still had that simmering feeling that something will soon happen, then it didn’t and it drove me nuts. And some things was not explained enough. I do not read that much fantasy and would have liked a little more explanation on some things. But other than that, I’m happy.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

HEX – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

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Goodreads synopsis: Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.

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My thoughts: Two nights in a row I have been dreaming about the wicked Witch of Black Spring. She have sneaked her way into the back of my mind and taken control in a way I have never experienced before. I’m not easily scared and specially not by books. And certainly not in a way where I actually wakes up, in the middle of the night with a racing hart and with a feeling that I don’t want to sleep anymore. I can feel discomfort and such but never really fear.  I wouldn’t call this one a scary horror either but it’s still an unpleasant book in the way that it was uncomfortable and mesmerizing at the same time.

Well written with an really interesting and suitable history and backstory. The details fit together nicely and in a way that it did not feel exaggerated or cheap. The original story takes place in a Dutch town but when the rights for the English version was sold it was decided to move the settings to a Hudson Valley and change the ending. That is two major difference between the original story compared to the translated one. According some forum threads I found, there is no big difference and has no great significance. Since I’m never gonna read the dutch version, it really doesn’t matter to me.

There is a lot of mixed feelings toward this book out there and my own are probably more on the good side than the average. I found the book complex and deeper than I first thought. A little obsessive with tits, breast and nipples but hey it is a guy who have written it after all. I liked the ending (even though I hate it) and I like how it makes you think. It compels you to seek deeper and read between the lines. A book which awakens feelings and questions and do need to be discussed because it is all in the way it is interpreted.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Spirits in the trees – Morgan H. MacDonald

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Goodreads synopsis: EVIL DOES EXIST

An abandoned house, a serial killer, and a victim reaching out from the grave. A woman races against time to unearth buried secrets before she becomes a ghost herself.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Madeline Anderson goes to Isabelle Island, Washington, to sell a family home abandoned over forty years before. Strange things occur the moment she steps on the property. Inside the dilapidated old house, items move about on their own accord. Noises come from empty rooms. She has a vivid, recurring dream of a woman running for her life. The wind rustling through the trees sounds like urgent, murmuring voices. When the cacophony dies down, one single word emerges: Madeline, Madeline, Madeline.

YOU CAN NOT HIDE

At first, Doug Lindstrom, the hot fireman helping Maddy restore the old home, doesn’t believe anything bizarre is going on. He’s certain Maddy is jumping at shadows because the local kids call the house haunted. That is until he witnesses horrific violence he can’t explain. After Maddy’s life is threatened not once, but twice, Doug vows there will not be a third time.

THEY ARE WATCHING

While searching for answers, Maddy uncovers astonishing secrets about her aunt’s past. Finding more questions then answers, she digs deeper until she stumbles across evidence of a cold case involving a serial killer named The Seaside Strangler. Now Maddy must unmask the killer. The life she saves just might be their own.

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My thoughts: What I wanted and expected was some spine chilling horror/mystery. What I got was a silly love story in a hunted house and some confusion.

How shall I review this book? Well for starter, the writing did not work that well for me. It was somewhat confusing in the way that the author probably forgot to mention some details to make some other details later on make sense. And some stuff was only mention once or twice. This infuriates me. Do not include something huge in the story, and then just ignore it later on. A violation will not that easily be forgotten. And to not mention it again will just make it sham and frivolous.

I did however like the idea of the story. The hunted house, the family mystery’s, the 50 year old crimes, the island, the sickness and all that. Not so much the violations and there really should be a trigger warning on this book. Because there are some graphically described chapters from different point of views and I would have liked to be warned. But on the other hand, if I knew, it could have been a reason for me to not read it at all.

The characters are the usual ones. The great hero and the broken heroine on the way back to life. Somewhat shallow but still readable. I did like it. But if I remember correctly, I had the same writing problem with one of the other books I have read by McDonald. So even though it is a good story, I do see a pattern and maybe this is not an author for me.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Dark lover – J. R. Ward

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Goodreads synopsis: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

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My thoughts: What a great book. I’m often sceptical toward this kind of books. This whole supernatural, paranormal, love, suspense kind of books do not often sit well with me and I often find them exaggerative. Specially if it is about vampires since that topic have been pushed for centuries now. But here I was really surprised that I liked is as much as I did.

It is a complexed story where vampires are not as I’m used to. They are a lot more vulnerable but still strong and mystic. In this book, just under 400 pages, you get a story filled with suspense and thrilling events from the first to the last page It is well written with a lot of details, great characters and hot, hot scenes. It is a complex world with even more complex characters and I just fell hard for the main male character, Wrath and almost as hard for the rest of them. I found the name at first somewhat excessive but after a while I got used to it and now I can’t have it any other way.

Really looking forward to continue this series. There is like 16 books in this series with another one that has it release next year. Oh wow this is going to be awesome I hope. If I’m right, I might have found a new favourite author. 🙂

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction

The name of the wind – Patrick Rothfuss

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Goodreads synopsis: Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

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My thoughts: First I want to say that I’m not a reader who reads much fantasy, especially high/epic fantasy and was somewhat concerned that I would not like the book due to the genre it belonged, but I actually found it not as high as I had foreseen. I would say it is a more of a softer kind of fantasy in my opinion. Assassin’s apprentice by Robin Hobb, for an example, I see as a more heavier than this book. So I was quiet surprised. The second I want to comment is about the writing. O, MY, God what a great work of art this book is. The writing is so well done that it is almost like singing in my head. The flow is easy, wonderful and captivating. I have never read anything as smooth as this before in my life. It is truly a work of art and I do now understand now why it took Rothfuss so many years to write the book. And the third thing is, that I did not fall in love, as so many others have and that makes me really sad. Really, really sad!

I didn’t get all those fuzzy feelings that so many others have from this book and it drives me crazy that I can’t pinpoint exactly why. Because it is certainly not bad. Even far from it. But I had such trouble to stay connected with it. When I put the book down, I had trouble picking it up again. When I eventually did pick it up, I read page after page and had trouble putting it down. Do you see my dilemma here? It was like I loved the book while reading, but when I didn’t I was ready to start something else. Something different. Something new. It did not put it’s claws in me. And I do think the reason for it is because it was somewhat uneven in speed and plot. There were a lot of storytelling and happenings and I do see that them are vital to the story, but for me I think it bored me a little.

I’m however a little in love with the character Kvothe. Or almost all the characters really. Rothfuss has made a great job with building them to that high standard that they are. They all have their own quirks and you can actually feel them. Kvothe is an intelligent, quick-witted, sharp-tongued and clever character that, in this book, starts telling his story of how he became who he is for Devan, who is kind of a story collector. Kvothe tells the story about his child hood, his family and years on the road as an entertainer. He tells about his friends and how he came to be who he is. And there is a lot of characters in this story. But some stay with you a little extra than others. For like an example, Elodin who is hilarious or Ambrose, who is a HUGE dick by the way, and even though I hate him, I could not see the story without him. I was also not overly fond of Denna in the beginning. I found her shallow, cruel and kind of self-centered but she did grew on me later on, even though I cant say I love her now. I got to understand her better and find her a lot more complex than first thought. Then we have Bast. Oh I love him. And Devi. Okay, I loved most of the characters.

I did get the description that this book is “Like Harry Potter for adults.” Well…. NO. The only thing I would be able to compare to the Harry Potter series is that Kvothe studies at a “magic” school, but it is not a magic, magic school. Hard to explain. But this is so far from Harry Potter you can come, and in some ways actually better but in others, not. What I can say though is that the book is complex beyond anything I have ever read and I think it is one of those who everybody should read.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

N0S4R2 – Joe Hill

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Goodreads synopsis: NOS4R2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4R2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

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My thoughts: I think this is one of the best books I have read so far this year. God damn this is some good Thriller/Horror literature that gives you the creeps in a way that you even dream about it at night. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m supposed to laugh, cry or feel relieved that I’m done with it. There is like a 1000 emotions in this book, which took me by total surprise. Had not expected to be so emotionally captured by a thriller/horror like this and was unprepared for the mark it would leave me.

Everybody who know me, knows I like King, but often find him a bit long and protracted. This book is written by Stephen Kings son that goes by the name Joe Hill. I didn’t know what to expect when going in since I have never read anything by Hill before. I have heard a lot about him though but never had the “courage” to read one of his books. I was afraid that he would be too much like his father. That is not necessary a bad thing, I do like Kings books, but if I wanted to read King, I would read King. I hoped for but was afraid, that Hill would not have developed his own writing style. A style that said that this is a Hill book, not a King and not son of King. I’m happy to say that even though there is similarities, Hill do have his own style and he is a little more “quick” in his wordings and his way of build sentences, which I really liked. It made it flow easy and draw you so deep in the book that real time and surroundings did not matter anymore. I don’t know if I would be as attentive to the writing as I was if I didn’t know about the family connections before starting to read the book, but I’m very pleased by the outcome and are now a lot more excited to read more of Hills books.

I was surprised how much emotions there is in this book. And how many and diverse characters there is. I feel in love with some, hated others, felt sorry for one and had empathy for many. I laughed, I cried and my heart hurt. I read until I thought my eyes would start to bleed and then I had trouble to pick the book up again. I wanted to know, but still I didn’t. It is a good indicator of some good writing if I feel that broken and splitted like I did while reading this book. This was one long and emotional roller-coaster and the ending, even though not surprising, was the only one I could imagine for the story. And I loved it! I loved it all.

N0S4R2 is a work of incredible creativity and imagination. Hill has made a nightmare of the one holiday I love the most. I will probably never ever have a Christmas again where I will not think about this book. And I may never view Christmas songs the same way again. Hill has made wonderful work with describing all the characters, their own little quirks in a way that felt real. He have written destiny’s, actions, choices and outcomes in a way that you started to feel like you have met these people. You know them. Or in a different time, different life, you would have been them.

What can I say? I loved it! The hype leading up to this books was true and real and now I’m joining it. The stuff people say about this book is true and you do not want to miss it. I feel sorry for them who did not like it. This is 700 pages of pure art and I will probably rave about this book to everyone who will listen (and probably those who won’t), for a long time to come.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Deadly Harvest – Heather Graham

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Goodreads synopsis: When a young woman is found dead in a field, dressed up as a scarecrow with a slashed grin and a broken neck, the residents of Salem, Massachusetts, begin to fear that the infamous Harvest Man is more than just a rumor. But out-of-town cop Jeremy Flynn doesn’t have time for ghost stories. He’s in town on another investigation, looking for a friend’s wife, who mysteriously vanished in a cemetery.

Complicating his efforts is local occult expert Rowenna Cavanaugh, who launches her own investigation, convinced that a horror from the past has crept into the present and is seducing women to their deaths. Jeremy uses logic and solid police work. Rowenna depends on intuition. But they both have the same goal: to stop the abductions and locate the missing women before Rowenna herself falls prey to the Harvest Man’s dark seduction.

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My thoughts: This is like the third book I have read by Heather Graham and still after I’m done with the book I have this feeling “thank you that it is finally over!”. That is not a good feeling to be left with. Almost all her books have a average 4+ star ratings and it is weird that non of those I have read, has appealed to me, at all. And I don’t really know why either. I think it is the writing that I can’t connect with. I feel bored and already at 20% of the book I wanted to DNF it, but didn’t since the story was a little interesting.

So, this book is about Jeremy Flynn. The second of the three brothers this series is about. He is in Salem, Massachusetts to help out a friend, who’s wife is missing. Roweena, who are from Salem is trying to help out. Jeremy met her through his brothers wife down in New Orleans and for weeks he have tried to stay clear of her but his feelings  is to strong and in Salem there relationship takes a big turn. She tries to help him but there is a lot of stuff happening and on top of that, she has terrible dreams, she doesn’t know what to do with. Jeremy is a down to earth, facts and logic kind of guy who do not believe in stuff he can’t see. Together they need to work together to find Mary, the missing wife, and later on, find a killer.

Okay story, a little predictable and boring but still well described. Missed some hot and steamy feelings and scene between Jeremy and Roweena, which I think would have made the book better. And the rest are a little flat. Still I think it all is because of the writing and that it doesn’t captures me.

I do not think I will read more by Graham for now, I just think that she maybe not is an author for me.